What to do when metamour's needs conflict with mine. [long!]
Hello. This will be a long one, I'll try to make it as sweet as possible.
For the sake of clarity I'll use some names, none of which are the names of anyone involved.
I met Beth when she was bound to blossom into the world's best lesbian ever. She was learning the ropes, meeting new people, and had just come out to her family. Then I stepped in...
Because I don't like the idea of me being "the man" and pulling her away from what could've been a road to self-discovery, I told her to continue searching for women. I couldn't be happier that, after two years of sleeping around (Not to mention us having a wonderful, worry-free, almost perfect relationship), she's finally found someone (Mary).
Then the poly stuff got a little crazy. Beth wasn't respecting my boundaries, I felt like she wasn't aware of my feelings, and she was giving Mary our time together. For example, Beth had gone on a trip with her family and was gone for several days. The first night she returned, she spent with Mary instead of me. Now I know that maybe I should have not felt so bad about it, but it really hurt my feelings at the time and I broke it off with her for about seven hours of traumatic sobbing.
Since then, we've really opened up to each other, we've worked through a lot of trust and other issues with each other, and she's been reading Ethical Slut, and I've felt more and more comfortable sharing how certain things make me feel. We spent a week together sobbing it out, and have come back stronger. I feel like being polyamorous is and has been the best way for us to be together.
Her partner, on the other hand, isn't as forgiving.
Not to say that she doesn't care about the situation, because Beth assures me she does, and she was very nice about giving us a whole week to ourselves, but one of my main 'working through jealousy moments' was realizing how much I wanted to meet her partner.
I mean, regardless of what kind of time we have together, Mary and I DO influence each others lives, and without being able to put a face to a name it becomes easier to loathe, disrespect, and make assumptions about one another. Moreover, it would be much easier to be amicable to each others situations if we were to meet in a non-confrontational place just to get to know each other.
But Mary seems to think my need to meet her, just to be friendly, makes me seem like she'd be "asking [Beth's] father for permission to date her". And she's very much against any awkwardness. I went out of my way to make the request as non-threatening as possible, having Beth text Mary my number so when she was ready she could set up something.
I can't dissuade someone from thinking something incorrect about me if I cannot talk with them face-to-face. Also, I feel a little bit apprehensive to feel okay with Beth being with someone who doesn't even want to meet me at all.
Tonight the situation almost erupted.
Beth and Mary were spending the night together, and obviously, the details are none of my business, I don't care to ask, and Beth doesn't care to share, which is totally fine. I went for a night out with my girlfriends, and turns out the bar we decide to start the night out with, Beth and Mary are expected anytime. I clam up, get a leaden feeling in my stomach and need to leave immediately.
Imagine that meeting! "Oh, hi. I'm glad to meet you. I see you're taking my partner to meet with our mutual friends. Why didn't you want to meet me? Oh well, now you have. This is MUCH better." How would anyone and everyone react? It would have been a shit-show had I arrived a half an hour later. That's not how I want to be presented with the situation.
Beth says, "I'm sorry, I need to respect her wishes too." In that Mary wishes not to meet me in a comfortable environment.
I really want to respect Beth and Mary, but Mary is making it harder and harder every day that she shies away from meeting me. I want to respect her wishes, but it was like I was giving an olive branch to her to say "I'm no longer jealous of the time you and Beth spend together. I would like to learn to be genuinely happy for the both of you." and she calls me a 'doting father' in so many words, and refuses to take my offer of peace. I know it might have been a little awkward, but now it certainly WILL be awkward, no matter where or when it happens.
Please read, and help. Give some examples, help out in any way you can. I can never forget how I felt tonight, and that feeling could've been completely avoided. we could've had a good time chatting together.
Edit: There's surprisingly little information anywhere on dealing with matamour's needs, and conflicts therein. I've perused the internet for a few weeks about the subject, and haven't found anything really. Or what one should expect from a partner's secondary. I know all situations are different, but I need to know what's "red flag" behaviour and what's my own issue.
Last edited by Rayek; 08-21-2011 at 01:25 PM.